Al-Qaida leader urges holy war over Prophet film

October 13, 2012 - 8:34 AM
Mideast Al Qaida Syria Iraq

FILE - This image from video AP obtained Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012, from the SITE Intel Group, an American private terrorist threat analysis company, has been authenticated based on details in it, shows al-Qaida's leader Ayman al-Zawahri in a web posting by al-Qaida's media arm, as-Sahab, calling on Muslims across the Arab world and beyond to support rebels in Syria who are seeking to overthrow President Bashar Assad. In an audio message released by As-Sahab and posted on militant websites early Saturday, October 12, 2012, al-Zawahri claimed Washington allowed the production of a film that insulted Islam's Prophet Muhammad under the pretext of freedom of expression, and urged Muslims to wage holy war against the United States and Israel. (AP Photo/SITE Intel Group, File)

CAIRO (AP) — The leader of al-Qaida has urged Muslims to wage holy war against the United States and Israel over a film that insulted Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

Ayman al-Zawahri praised as "honest and zealous" demonstrators who breached the U.S Embassy in Cairo and attackers who stormed the U.S. "embassy" in Benghazi in violence linked to the film. The American ambassador and three others died in the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in the Libyan city.

The amateur film "Innocence of Muslims" was made by an Egyptian-born American citizen.

In an audio message released by al-Qaida's media arm As-Sahab and posted on militant websites early Saturday, al-Zawahri claimed Washington allowed the film's production under the pretext of freedom of expression, "but this freedom did not prevent them from torturing Muslim prisoners."